Beer Review: Rivertown Death

Right, first thing’s first, I’m a little scared and very excited. I’m excited because I love Rivertown and enjoyed both Famine and War, plus I’m all in for high gravity beers. I’m scared because the pepper in this beer, the Jolokia pepper. This thing used to be Guinness World Records hottest pepper in the world, it’s also being used as a weapon by the Indian Army, they’re putting it into grenades. The following table shows various peppers and where they fall in the Scoville unit, the table and all this pepper info is jacked from Wikipedia.

Scoville units Examples
1,500,000–2,000,000 Most law enforcement grade pepper sprayTrinidad Moruga Scorpion
855,000–1,463,700 Bhut Jolokia chili pepper – This is what they used in this beer
100,000–350,000 Habanero chili
50,000–100,000 Bird’s eye chili (aka. Thai Chili Pepper)
30,000–50,000 Cayenne pepper
3,500–8,000 Jalapeño pepper, Chipotle, Tabasco sauce
No significant heat Bell pepper

This is the last of the Brewmaster’s reserve limited release apocalypse series. Here are my previous reviews of Famine and War, unfortunately I missed the boat on Pestilence.

From the label:

Batch No. 4 in The Brewmaster’s Reserve Limited Release Series Death is the fourth of four brews released centered around the Mayan apocalypse of 2012 signifying worlds end on December 21st 2012.

Death is a high gravity Russian imperial stout. Rich malt complexity from a blend of dark malts, paired with Jolokia peppers (Ghost chili peppers) emphasize the finality of the series and the horseman himself. Save one for December 21st 2012.

Time to get drinking!


Brewery: Rivertown
Beer: Death
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Alcohol by Volume: 11%

Pours a super dark almost black brown with a dark tan head.

Not overly aromatic. Some smell of bread malts also a bit of the peppers and some alcohol.

Oh yeah that is peppery. The first hit is just a hint of spice, but it builds. There is also a fair amount of caramelly malts. Not too much going on in this taste but that heat continues to build.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel that rolls in on a medium-heavy body. The alcohol is definitely strong and present. Half way through a pint and I’m feeling it.

Overall a great beer that is very interesting. I would not want to down a 6-pack of this one night, both due to the pepper and the 11%. Back to the spiciness as I finish this. I’d give this a 4 or 5 on the Thai food scale, I usually eat a 6.

Currently available on tap at Rivertown and they are selling bottles as well. I’m buying 3 bottles, 1 for tomorrow, 1 for 6 months and if that is good then the 3rd will be sometime later.

3 thoughts on “Beer Review: Rivertown Death”

  1. At least they had the courtesy to use the peppers in a dark beer where the malt bill will help even some of the heat out. I just had a bottle of Twisted Pine’s Ghost Face Killah (review coming this weekend) which uses the same peppers, along with others. It was crazy, to say the least.


  2. Too bad you missed the boat on Pestilence. It was quite possibly the funkiest sour ever crafted by the hand of man (like limburger cheese in a bottle).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: